Podcast "important today": Protests in Iran: "People want freedom or they choose death"

Jin, Jiyan, Azadi - women, life, freedom - these are the words people shout at their protests against the Iranian regime.

Podcast "important today": Protests in Iran: "People want freedom or they choose death"

Jin, Jiyan, Azadi - women, life, freedom - these are the words people shout at their protests against the Iranian regime. Since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini on September 13, thousands of people have been demonstrating in Iran against the government's repressive course. Mahsa Amini was arrested by the moral police in Tehran because of her "un-Islamic outfit" and died three days later under unclear circumstances. Since then, people around the world have shown solidarity with the protests - including in Germany.

"It was so strong and courageous for these women to take to the streets and choose freedom in a life-and-death struggle," says Mahsa, whose last name we do not want to mention here, in the "important today" podcast. "It's been a female protest." It's the women who are at the center of the protests, tearing off their headscarves, cutting their hair, but now, she says, it's the men who are supporting the protests too.

Mahsa fled Iran to Berlin six years ago. Today she lives with a woman. "I love Iran, but the regime has made us sick," she says. Mahsa is mourning the loss of her country and would like to return if she could be arrested there. "I lost everything," she says. Her family is still at home - it is dangerous to get in touch, the fear is omnipresent. "I'm the only one who ran away," she says. Now she doesn't know what to say to her friends in Iran: "Go to the protests or stay at home." Because communication is made much more difficult by the Internet blockage: "It's a big problem that we don't know exactly what's going on there."

The young woman then finds it difficult to see her family and friends: "I have to cry in front of them every day. It gets to me that I can't do anything." Conversely, her parents are very concerned about her – because Mahsa shows her face in the media and makes statements of solidarity. And she says herself: "I'm still afraid that someone will do something to me here."

But it is also this fear that Mahsa could no longer endure in Iran. Only at home could she be who she is. "I was always the only one who was different at school. I didn't want to pray, I hid under the table." The system has taken all joy from them all, says Mahsa. "I couldn't party, I couldn't dance, I couldn't sing." It's not just the hijab that young people are protesting against, but the whole regime. "People are fed up with it now. They want freedom or they choose death."

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